MELBOURNE, Australia, November 24. FIVE-time London Olympic medallist Alicia Coutts has been named the 2012 EnergyAustralia Swimmer of the Year at a gala dinner in Melbourne tonight.
The 25-year-old won the award over fellow Olympic relay gold medallists Cate Campbell, Brittany Elmslie and Melanie Schlanger having previously taken out Swimming Australia's top prize in 2010 with five gold medals at the Delhi Commonwealth Games.
A member of our gold medal winning freestyle relay team on the opening night of the Games, a silver medallist in the 200m IM and bronze medallist in the 100m fly, Coutts also picked up silver in the women's 4x200m freestyle and 4x100m medley relay, to equal Ian Thorpe and Shane Gould as a five-time medallist at a single Games.
Not to go unrecognised on the night, the relay quartet of Coutts, Campbell, Elmslie and Schlanger were awarded the Speedo Golden Moment of the Year, while men's breaststroke silver medallist Christian Sprenger won the Swisse People's Choice Award.
Paralympian of the Year Jacqueline Freney was named the Multi Class Swimmer of the Year for her remarkable achievement in London, winning eight gold medals including two world records, while Matthew Cowdrey won the EnergyAustralia Swimmers' Swimmer Award as voted for by his peers.
The South Australian was also acknowledged for his outstanding contribution to Paralympic sport, becoming Australia's most successful Paralympian of all-time in London, having now won a total of 13 gold medals from three Paralympic Games — with his London haul including five gold, two silver and one bronze medal.
Queenslander Melissa Gorman took out the Open Water Swimmer of the year, finishing 11th at her second Olympic Games, while fellow distance swimmer Trent Grimsey was acknowledged for his achievements in setting a new world record for the English Channel crossing, as well as being crowned the FINA Open Water Swimming Grand Prix Champion for 2012.
AIS Coach John Fowlie was named coach of the year for steering Alicia Coutts to Olympic success, while Michael Freney, who coached daughter Jacqui to similar highs in London was named the Multi Class Coach of the Year.
In other awards, 18-year-old Brittany Elmslie won the Australian Sports Commission Discovery of the Year, Blair Evans won the Singapore Airlines Short Course Swimmer of the Year and the Age Group Coach of the Year went to Craig Jackson from Melbourne Vicentre.
A full list of 2012 Award winners is as follows:
EnergyAustralia Swimmer of the Year Alicia Coutts
EnergyAustralia Swimmers' Swimmer of the Year Matthew Cowdrey
Swisse People's Choice Award Christian Sprenger
Multi-Class Swimmer of the Year Jacqueline Freney
Open Water Swimmer of the Year Melissa Gorman
Singapore Airlines Short Course Swimmer of the Year Blair Evans
Speedo Golden Moment of the Year Women 4 x 100m Freestyle Relay
Roger Smith Technical Official of the Year Ryan Arblaster
Australian Sports Commission Discovery of the Year Brittany Elmslie
Age Group Coach of the Year Craig Jackson
Multi-Class Coach of the Year Michael Freney
Open Water Coach of the Year Ken Wood
Coach of the Year John Fowlie
International All Star Team Cate Campbell
EnergyAustralia Volunteer of the Year Jenni Trewren, Berri Swimming Club
EnergyAustralia Club of the Year Joint winners:
Mount Annan Swim Club (NSW)
Helensvale Swim Club (QLD)
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